Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, by Chris Riddell

I chose this book for one of the top 20 Christmas gift books.

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a MouseI chose this book for one of the top 20 Christmas gift books in this very paper. How right I was, because he has only gone and won the Costa Award with it. And quite deservedly so.

It is a cracker of a book. Witty, charming, and with the most stunning illustrations, it tells the tale of Ada Goth, who is the only child of Lord Goth.

The two live together in the enormous Ghastly-Gorm Hall. Lord Goth believes that children should be heard and not seen, so Ada has to wear large, clumpy boots so that he can always hear her coming. This makes it hard for her to make friends and, if she is honest, she is rather lonely.

Then one day William and Emily Cabbage come to stay at the house, and - together with a ghostly mouse called Ishmael - they and Ada begin to unravel a dastardly plot that Maltravers, the mysterious indoor gamekeeper, is hatching. Ada and her friends must work together to foil Maltravers before it is too late.

Goth Girl has to be one of the most gorgeously-produced books I have ever seen - with a tiny mini-book tucked into the back of it, with the Memoirs of a Mouse by the now-infamous Ishmael Whiskers.

It is an utter and absolute delight and made me wish that I was 10 again and discovering it for the first time.